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Cranefield, Frederic (ed.) / Wisconsin horticulture
Vol. I (September 1910/August 1911)

Wisconsin horticulture, vol. 1, no. 2: October, 1910,   pp. [1]-16 PDF (7.6 MB)

Page 6

  One of the duties of the committee 
on 1rial Orchards is to inspect each 
of the trial orchards and stations at 
least once each year. The 1910 com- 
mittee, R. J. Cue, L. G. Kellogg, and 
J. S. Palmer accompanied by Secre- 
tary Cranefield covered a part of the 
annual trip the week of August 19- 
24, traveling a trifle over 1,000 miles 
by rail and a goodly distance by team 
and auto. 
  That the members of this Society 
may know how tile committee mem- 
bers earn their salaries, which are 
represented  thus-$00.00-we     give 
somewhat in detail the itinerary. 
  The committee left Madison Sun- 
(lay night at 10:20, arriving at Bar- 
ron at 5:52 A. M. Monday; trekked 
back to Elroy and thence to Sparta 
arriving at 4:36 P. M. From Sparta 
to Whitehall via Winona, Minn., ar- 
riving at 6:42 P. M. Tuesday. Leav- 
ing Whitehall at 10:53 A. M. Wednes- 
day arrived at Wausau by way of 
Merrillan and Marshfield Wednesday 
4 P. M. After inspection of orchard 
here, carefully estimating fruit crop, 
and selling same, the committee de- 
parted for Manitowoc at 11:15 P. M. 
From   Manitowoc to    Lake Geneva 
took all of 'lhursday afternoon and 
Friday forenoon, the members leav- 
ing for their respective homes Fri- 
day afternoon. 
  These trial orchard trips are stren- 
uous affairs, mostly day and night, 
all kinds of weather and accommoda- 
tions, and yet in 6 years, with as 
many different committees, the writer 
has never heard a complaint nor en- 
countered a grouchy committeeman. 
Good fellowship prevails and the in- 
terest in the work, the discussion in 
detail of the different orchards, and 
causes of success or failure of a cer- 
tain variety or tree, occupies the time 
so fully that the hard grind of travel 
is forgotten. There yet remains four 
orchards which will require a long 
trip, viz., Poplar, Maple, Medford 
and Gays Mills. The committee plans 
to make these the first week ii, Oc- 
tober.  The members serve without 
pay for a term of three years. For 
these men who have large business 
interests of their own the sacrifce is 
not slight. 
           GEO. F. POTTER. 
  As the demand for winter lettuce 
has spread from the larger cities to 
the smaller villages, Wisconsin has 
developed extensive markets for the 
crop. At present, however, a iarge 
part of the supply vo.nes from out- 
side the state. This lettuce is sent 
here  at   a  disadvantage  on   ac- 
count of express charges and, more- 
over, arrives here in poor condition, 
in which it cannot compete with a 
home grown product. There is, there- 
fore, a good opportunity for lettuce 
growing in this state. 
  Tile lettuce greenhouse should be 
cool, airy, and as light as possible. 
The   temperature    usually  varies 
from forty-five degrees Fahrenheit at 
night to fifty-five or sixty during the 
daytime, or even higher oii sunshiny 
days.  As would naturally be ex- 
pected, the growth of the crop be- 
comes faster as the temperature is 
raised. 'T'oo high heat, however, pro- 
duses a slim growth of poor quality. 
Thus the careful grower will watch 
the plants in the beds as well as his 
thermometer when lie regulates the 
temperature. The ventilation is im- 
portant as with every other green- 
house crop in    order to keep the 
plants in a healthy growth and to 
insure them against attacks of dis- 
ease. The influence of light is that 
of a stimulant to growth. During 
the short days of midwinter it can 
be noticed that the crop requires a 
week or more longer to mature than 
in either fall or spring. Therefore, 
for the quick and cheap production 
of the crop, all the light possible 
,hiouli be afforded. 
  In the greenhouse lettuce may be 
raised either in benches raised about 
three feet and    containing six or 
eight inches of soil or directly in 
the ground. The second system     is 
the cheaper and it has sometimes 
been claimed produces better crops 
than the first. If benches are used 
too many steam     pipes underneath 
them should be avoided, for that will 
cause too great a variation in the 
moisture in   the beds.   With  this 
carn, fine crops may be produced 
and an opportunity is also gained to 
force rhubarb or to grow mushrooms 
underneath the lettuce crop. 
  In the filling of the benches with 
soil we come to the most important 
part of the culture of the crop. To 
make the business profitable, a let- 
tuce soil must be very rich, and also 
must be loose in order that the roots 
may penetrate it easily and that it 
may be easily cultivated.    Such a 
soil may   be prepared   by mixing 
thoroughly rotted manure with or- 
dinary garden loam   in the propor- 
tion of about three parts of loam to 
one of manure, or mnore or less ac- 
cording to the character of the soil. 
If the mixture is inclined to bake 
and become hard, a little sand may 
be added, but it must be remeim- 
bered that sand contains no plant 
food and in large quantities consiid- 
erably decreases the fertility. It is 
like putting water into milk, and 
should  not he overdone. Another 
system  which yields better results 
but is slightly slower is the compost- 
img system. A layer of sod is thrown 
wrong side up, a layer of manure 
placed on it, and the operation is 
repeated until the pile is about five 
feet in height. It is then allowed to 
decompose for about a year, when it 
is mixed with the garden loamii in 
the place of the pure rotted manure. 
This system gives a fibrous and ex- 
cellent soil. 
  Among    the  varieties of lettuce 
grown, (Grand Rapids is probably the 
best. It loriis a large head of loose 
leaves, has a fine appearance and is 
of good quality. The quality is not 
so good as that of the close-headed 
lettuce, but it is superior to these 
3orts in the ease with which it can 
Iw gr( in and in its resistance to 
  The seed is usually sown in flats 
or boxes altout three inches in depth 
and of any convenient size. The soil 
should be quite sandy in this box 
in order to develop a good root sys- 
temn. The box should be filled heap- 
ing full and the surplus scraped off 
with a board. The soil in the box 
should then be pressed down uni- 
formly, and the seed sown. If sown 
broadcast it should be covered to not 
more than its own depth with soil 
sifted on from a fine sieve. If sown 
iii rows it may be planted deeper. 
It should then be watered with a fine 
sprinkler. It is a good plan also to 
October 1910 

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